Wow, after recently reporting on a Lego friendly prosthetic, I just found this one by YouBionic which is on target for completion by the end of the year, according to 3D Print. This one is the mac daddy of prosthetic combining Arduino with muscle sensors that are triggered by the brain of the wearer. You can see the fragmented pieces of the hand allow for more realistic movement than other models. However, there is another advantage–one hand can be done as a single 3D print. Check out the graceful movements of their prototype, including the rotation of the thumb.
What’s nice is that this prosthetic joins others in the list of up and coming 3D printed options for people to choose from–different inventions by startups and hobbyists with varying capabilities and costs. So, soon people will have choices that are in reason, and these pieces can be gifted or even donated. Perhaps hackerspaces will opt to create so many a year to help people in their community for just cost of materials. Schools can even choose to do a project for social good. I just feel that this is such a great combination of 3D printing, open source and wearables.
Something that is particularly interesting about YouBionic is that they are not only interested in devices for everyday movement, but they are also interested in “allowing movements in sync impossible for a traditional man”. What could this imply? Well, certainly military applications come to mind, but perhaps there are specific manufacturing or rescue situations which require certain type of movements. It almost reminds me of the movie Transcendence where people are given unusual strength capabilities so they can move large objects or do other labor that would usually take more manpower. So, how long will it be before people will yearn for a body better than they already have? It’s a serious question to pose, especially given the fact that people are already chipping themselves to make access codes easier in workplaces. That leads to an even more serious question of power. Asimov created the “Three Laws of Robotics”, but what happens when you have super powered humans? I think lawyers are going to be having some interesting conversations. I can’t tell you how to prepare, but I can recommend that each and every one of you keep our cute poster in your house as a gentle reminder of things to come.
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